So for those of you who did not know I am a noob on the blog scene I have made this post for you to point and laugh at me.  As for the rest of you, please ignore this post and move on to reading my previous post (Charlie 3).

In respect to the number of viewers of this blog, I get really happy when my report says I had around 30 viewers. That’s like, wow, a lot. But low and behold, today I have 60. Double! That’s crazy. One day last week (blog only 4 days old) I get nearly 70 views. But there is something quite fishy floating in the air.

Here’s my thoughts as I view my information:

Woah, 70 views! That’s sickeningly awesome. I must know more. Who are these wonderful people who have graced my blog with their presence?

What? That’s strange.

How did they find my blog? What that crap is this lame business ad/blog?

I think I’m getting spammed.

Pretty hardcore.

(Imagine my right eye drooping, caused by the stroke I had due to anger and confusion)

Now if you’re done laughing, you’ve had your chance to get your jollies, please help me out here.

Anybody notice any discrepencies on their viewer numbers for your blog as well? I’ve noticed that on certain days I get told that an account (of which is nothing but one advertisment post) keeps looking at my blog nearly 40 times. Does this happen with everybody, or is this some sort of spam problem that I can actually get rid of by reporting it?

If I need to report it, how do I do that? If it’s just a fact of life on the blogosphere then does this mean I can start getting benefits? I would love some dental coverage. And what’s the co-pay on this thing? Vacations?

Really, somebody let me know what’s up. Thanks.

D.A.

Charlie 3

May 29, 2011

“One minute ’till glory, boys!” the Sergeant grimaced through the puff of smoke in his face. “Hoorah?”

Every man in grunted out their response with gusto. “Hoorah, Master Seargent!”

The yellow ready light turned on. The men stood from their seats and formed two single files.

Master Sergeant Dripps knew the men in front of him were nervous. He tried to make a point of looking nonchalant about their work even though the plane bounced in the storm clouds. He was about to give the speech that he had given to all the men he had previously led into battle. While looking into their frightened eyes he spoke clearly and with confidence.

“We are here to do one thing. That’s to kill us some of those humans that crawl beneath us. They’ve scuttled around on the ground for long enough. They enjoy the freedoms that we deserve.”

I know I don’t need to remind you that they consume us. They feed off of us.” One man in the back of yellow team had begun to throw up. He had probably seen it happen before. The enemy below were known for doing deplorable things to his fellow people. There were even rumors that the humans had build machines that allow them to drink the fallen.

“I know you can’t stand it. I can’t either. Even though this war seems like it doesn’t end we’re here to make progress. When we jump, we jump for a promise of hope, a promise of victory.” his voice sounded like gravel. He had given this speech hundreds of times.

The Sarge, as he was affectionately known, surveyed those who were in front of him and he saw the potential. The potential for these men to stand up and become fighters; heroes. And he saw the potential for them all to earn nothing more than an obituary. That was the reality of  those who served in the Drop Trooper Program. They always turned out to become one of two things. They could become total wash outs, or they could reach the highest state in The Cycle.

The Sarge quietly hoped for the latter.

His second in command handed him their orders in an envelope. They were kept secret until the last possible moment. It helped to stop the humans from predicting their movements.  He snatched the paper from the younger officer and read the words before him. He understood his orders. He knew they were going to jump into certain death. He did his best to hide his disappointment in front of the men but despite his effort, his men seemed to know. With a fake sense of confidence, he gave the orders.

“It seems that our target has been designated Charlie 3. It’s big. We are to hit it with full force. No mercy. Use whatever you’ve got equipped. I know you don’t want to hear me admitt this but it looks like we’re going to have casualties. Remember your training and you can survive. Remember the target. Charlie 3. Don’t deviate. Don’t miss. Every hit counts.”

The sergeant took note of the effect his words had on the men around him. It wasn’t enough. They needed something more. None of them had the fire they needed to get their job done. His job was to make sure every man he led met the call of duty. He decided to reach out and remind their tired hearts of how the Cycle could help them come to terms with their fates.

“I know it doesn’t look good boys. But remember what The Cycle means. You know the motto: ‘If it falls, then it will rise. If it rises, then it will fall.'” he got some silent nods at this. They all knew about the Cycle. They’ve been taught about it since they were young. “All out us have been through it before whether you remember it or not.” More nods. He was getting through. Some of their demeanors were starting to change for the better.

“You’ll come back. We all get the chance. Maybe by the time that you’re back here, we’ll have made some real progress in this war. And when this thing is finally over, maybe we’ll never need to be Cycled again. Until that day comes we have a job to do. So let’s get to it!”

“Hoorah!” they trumpeted in unison. This time it was enough to shake the chest of the Master Sergeant that stood in front of him. It made him grin.

He pulled out his cigar and gave them the only appropriate response. “Hoorah.” He snapped a salute.

Finally he could see the fight in his men. They wouldn’t become washouts. They were heroes already.

With that small sign of comfort, he walked around to the end of the Yellow Team line. He attached the hook for his chute and double checked his cable and harness. No mistakes would be allowed.

The pilot looked behind him and yelled into the fuselage. “30 seconds until drop!”

“Blue Team! You’re up. After 15 seconds I expect to see each one of you on your way down. Then Yellow Team will follow. I’ll be jumping with them.” the Sarge barked. He knew deep down that these men were ready. They knew they were going to complete the Cycle.

For a few tense moments nobody spoke or moved. They could only hear the hum of the engines and the rumble of thunder outside of the craft. The sounds of war.

The yellow light turned green and Blue Team started their exit. They took their leave in a tight order and each man yelled “Geronimo” as they dove down toward their fate.

Another green light blinked on, and the men in front of the sergeant quickly stepped to the edge and looked into the wild blue yonder.

“Alright you lollygaggers.” The sergeant seemed to speak through his smoldering cigar. “Go! Go! Go!”

They took flight knowing only one thing. Hit Charlie 3.

***

On the earth below them Becky Bainbridge looked out of the windshield of her 1998 Volvo. She heard the loud splat of a drop of water on her roof looked up toward the sky.

“Hmm, It looks like it’s starting to rain.” Soon, and in rapid succession, she heard the rest of her car get hit with droplets. This time, before she heard each drop she could have sworn she heard a tiny scream.

“Odd.” she said to herself. Becky shrugged it off and started her engine. “Well, I’m not going to let it ruin my day.”

Charlie 3     © D. A. Bancroft

More self examination

May 29, 2011

I’m sure most who write blogs (probably you) take pride in your work. And you should! It’s not easy.

But I’m sure most of you have a name for your blog that you’re proud of. It’s a real statement. It sums everything up about who you are and what you’re doing here.

Bookforme is the name of this blog.

Not very good is it? While I’m sure I could change it I would like to tell you why I will not.

The name bookforme will stay there as a constant reminder to me that my goal in writing is to complete a book.

When I came up with this blog, I wanted to accomplish one thing in particular. I wanted to write a book. I don’t care if it gets published or not. I don’t care if it’s even that good. But I do care if I can actually get it done. This is going to be tough for me because I am not a particularly skilled writer.

I have no plans on writing a book right now. I’m still trying to learn how to write posts and comments without making myself look like a total dweeb. But when I get a lot of short stories under my belt I will try writing a book. I expect that this blog will likely end up being where I post each chapter as I write it. I might even end up breaking chapters into sections and release those. In all reality, I’m not at that bridge, so I’m not going to worry about it much right now.

What I am going to worry about are the little things. I need to know about creating a story. Whether it’s formal or not, I need the knowledge base to develop those ideas. I also need to learn more about grammar. I know some may warn away from spending too much time here, but I think I need to feel confident enough about it in order to put my mind at rest. Plus, it’s not like I have an editor or anything. I edit my own stuff.

Here are some other goals I would love to accomplish in anticipation of writing a book:

1. Write over 50 short stories. (hopefully they will get better with time).

2. Write some sort of short serial. That means I would like to write a number of short stories that actually have some line of continuity through them. This seems to be like it could be the most fun in my near future.

3. Try things like poetry/haikus/jokes/lyrics on some occasion. (In order to bring my attention to other forms of writing.)

4. Network with other writers in order to help me develop what I do into a real skill.

5. Write a novellete. (This could or not become my future full blown novel, but trying a story in that form would be a tremendous adventure and likely be good practice in creating a long story.)

6. Shorten the time it takes to let a story form in my mind and then write it down.

7. Reach my goal of a complete book within 2 years. (This could be subject to change, but only in a shorter time frame, not a longer one)

Overall, I think these are reachable goals. You’ll notice that the number of short stories should take me about a full year to finish (at one story per week). That would give me the chance to work on a novel for a whole year. I’m sure I need this much time in order to change and edit if I need to.

Hey, maybe I’ll write a book and then I’ll say to myself, “Oh that was not that bad”. Then I’ll get confident enough to keep it up. Or maybe you will all form an angry mob and demand my retirement from the field. Either way, I look forward to a book for me.

Ever Wonder? #2

May 27, 2011

Okay, so lately I’ve been thinking about my creaky joints. Well, my whole body really, but joints in particular. I’m in my mid-20’s and now I’m starting to notice that I am getting a few of those “aches and pains” that old people always talk about.

Now I’m a naturally non-bendable person. When I do push-ups I can’t even put my weight on my palms. I have to make a fist and put the weight on my knuckles. This is because my wrists doesn’t like it when I try to put it in a 90 degree angle.

So I have this dream about repairing/updating my body. What if I could just reboot it and everything could be fresh again. Not through some surgery, but more like a gigantic break-down and build-up. Every cell. Displaced and then replaced. All the bad stuff goes away. All the damage is repaired. Awesome, right?

Think about it. You have no past strain on any of those old muscles. The back in particular. No weird cracks as you get out of bed. Bones are in their right places. Imagine that It’s so perfect you couldn’t even pop you fingers because everything is so right.

This doesn’t mean it makes me ageless. Just realigns everything. Am I the only person to ever wonder about this?

I guess I could just get a massage if I really wanted to feel refreshed, but I’m not a touch-feely kind of guy. I’m more of a I’d-rather-have-some-sort-of-unimaginable-wholesale-reconfiguring-rather-than-have-some-stranger-touch-my-back kind of guy.

As for the subject of my last post:

I did it. I got something done.

The name of that something will be Charlie 3. The something is my new short story.

“So D.A., can you sum it up in 8 words or less?”

Sure can:

Soldiers preparing to drop on target. Certain death.

Don’t worry. It’s not a commentary on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, or anything else. And it ‘s not heavy. So you won’t feel bad afterwards. Makes you wonder how this could be true with my 8 word summary. I guess you’ll just have to read to find out.

D.A.

The Big Conspiracy

May 27, 2011

So I’ve noticed some sort of a, let’s call it, conspiracy.

Remember only a few short years ago how different t-shirts were? I’m not talking about the design or size or anything. I’m talking about the tag. Whatever happened to the idea of the tag?

Don’t get me wrong. I hate the tag. I hate the tag on anything. I was hating the tag so hard people asked me if I was getting paid to hate the tag. No. I was pro bono on hating the tag. I made hating the tag cool. When I was a kid I remember hati- wait. Sorry. I’m losing it here. Let me refocus.

I really hate the tag when it’s on the inside of the side of the shirt. You know what I’m talking about, right? How it’s always scraping you in the side? Maybe it curls up and pokes you as well. I mean, wow. How could that possibly be better than at the back? At least in the back it felt a little symmetrical. And the back of your neck had built up a small immunity to it. Or, at least when compared to your side. The side has no chance of being free from it’s discomfort.

This topic brings up something else. Why did it take so long for the “tagless” shirt to come out? I mean, really, we cured smallpox decades before the tagless shirt. I would like to believe that humans are pretty intelligent, curing disease and all, but did it really take that long?

Look at it  from a business standpoint. More comfort = more happy customers. Less material = Lower cost. Win – Win.

In short, I smell cover-up. Who’s with me?

In other news.I didn’t get anything done today. Not just in terms of writing (except this) but in terms of everything.

My lazy meter has been in the red all day today. I shouldn’t be okay with that, but I am. Sometimes I’m very good at coping with my own inadequacies.

For your added benefit here’s a list of a few things that make me feel awesome:

  1. Old episodes of Hey Arnold.
  2. The free release of the Portal 2 soundtrack.
  3. The smell of opening a pack of Magic: the Gathering cards.
  4. The smell of books from the used bookstore.
  5. The smell of clean cups. (You don’t really know if a cup is clean unless you smell it).
  6. People commenting on my short story Memorandum RE: Galaxy. (Trust me, I’m almost done promoting it).
Tomorrow I will get stuff done. Yes. Tomorrow.
D.A.

Prime Directive #1

May 25, 2011

I decided on something for my blog. 

When I feel lazy (like today), I will still post on this thing. That means I will actually write something rather than just posting a sentence and a video of a cat playing with some yarn (as awesome as that would be.). I want to do this because I really think just writing for others to read will help develop my writing ability. If it’s public, then people may read it, and I would want to make sure that I’m writing something that isn’t going to be made fun of. So, despite my mood, I’ll end up putting effort into making something worth looking at.

The main goals of this blog are to promote my desire to write and help me become a better writer. It doesn’t matter what I write, as long as I write it. Heck, even making posts with around 250 words is “writing”. As minimal as that might sound to some of you, that’s quite a bit for me. So I guess just posting on here is helping me accomplish those goals. So, there’s Prime Directive #1: Always write something.

Let’s talk some more about goals.

“Write something that challenges you”. That’s what I keep telling myself. That could apply to subject matter as well as just trying to make a very complex story actually work. You know, I’m sure there are plenty of good writers out there that still don’t feel like they’ve accomplished any of this before. So I think that’s a good and logical goal to have. Therefore, Prime Directive #2: Challenge Yourself.

My next story will come on Sunday, May 29th, at 8 p.m. What’s it about? I dunno. Small people that worship the sky? Soda pop and cargo shorts? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

Secondary Goal #1: Come up with something better than a plot that involves cargo shorts.

I am aiming for something shorter than my last story (like I said in my previous posts). I will be going for humor, so make sure you warm up your “LOL’s” and “Haha’s” and possibly “TeeHee’s” in the comment sections on my newest story. Hey, you can also leave some of those on my last short story. It’s titled Memorandum RE: Galaxy. You know, that story I’ve been promoting for the past week +.

Secondary Goal #2: Shamelessly self promote your own work wherever you can.

Hey. I’m writing, you’re reading, it’s all good.

D.A.

Lately I’ve been looking at the use of language in short stories. This includes the speaking mannerisms and conversations of characters/perspectives in a story. Allow me to explain.

Everybody talks differently. I say and use words that you probably don’t, and you probably use words that, if i heard them in conversation, would confuse me. I’d just awkwardly laugh and pretend that I know what you’re talking about. Well, I  think the same is true for any character in a story. Even if it is very subtle, it’s still a difference.

For example, if I were writing a story from a human male perspective, I would include words like “Gnarly”, “Rad”, and “Awesome.” There would also be some smelly armpits in there somewhere. Alternatively, if I were writing for an unintelligent mass of goo, I would make sure the vocabulary included words like “Blurp”, “Squish”, and “Gurgle.” This would be accompanied by some slime dripping (and some stinky pits of some kind).

Now conversations are a whole ‘nother problem.

People not only use words differently, but engage in conversation differently. Maybe they make eye contact with the speaker, or avoid it at all costs. Maybe they are uncertain and shrug all the time. Maybe they tap their fingers or bounce their knee. Suppose the speaker is very authoritative, so they only speak in commands and short sentences. “Do this.” “Go over there.” “Massage my feet, you scum.” You see my point.

This was something that really took a lot of effort for me in Memo. Even though the whole story wasn’t conversation I still wanted the reader to feel like they had a good look at what was going on as well as what was being said. I tried to imply body movement and emotions in conversation. I’m not sure how successful I was in accomplishing this, but I gave it the old college try. It will be something I will work on in the future.

So the next story I’m working on is going to have a noticeably different tone to it. I would like to be able to focus on these issues, but I will likely end up forgetting what I want to focus on, thus leading me to write a story about two tiny ponies that just nay at one another.

Oh Crap! That could be the best idea ever! Better put it in writing!

Pretty Pony: Nay :::translates to: Sup? :::

Cute Pony: Nay ::: Sup?:::

Pretty: Nay Nay :::Nothin’. You?::::

Cute:  Nay :::Nothin’.:::

Pretty: Nay :::Cool:::

Cute: Nay :::Cool:::

Old Englishman Pony: Nay :::No:::

Or, maybe not?

Answer: Nay.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid humor. In fact, I will try to get a serious short story made one day soon. I’ll just write what comes to me.

In completely unrelated news, I’m currently searching for the best way to clean a laptop from the constant touching of my hands. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

D.A.

Another important list of facts for all of you:

1. I am 14 feet tall. I had bamboo rods inserted into my legs at a very young age. This acutally helped me play for the Harlem Globetrotters for some time. I was later removed from the team due to “unfair enhancements.” I think they were just jealous.

2. Shirmp are not, in fact, sea creatures. They are harvested from the old gas tanks of late model Ford Trucks. This is why some believe shrimp taste like rubber.

¿. If you haven’t read it already, my first short story is complete and posted here on this blog. It’s called Memorandum RE: Galaxy. It was a lot of work, and is my first start-to-finish short story.I’m pretty happy with the outcome. And I guess that’s all that really matters. So, go me.

B. Since this is my first short story, that means there will probably be plenty of mistakes and bad decisions. I will be receptive to listening to any critical analysis of my work, as long as it’s done in an appropriate (read “not mean”) manner. Actually, I would be very appreciative of any feedback whatsoever. Even if it were a little mean spirited.

¥. I’m not using convential numbering for my lists.

œ.  To your joy/dismay I’ve already begun working on my next short story. I expect this one to be much shorter than my first one. The goal for Memo was 1500 words, but it somehow exploded into 2400. I think I’ll aim for around 500 this time around but that could become 4300 words. So, once again, go me.

Γ. This post has nothing to do with lasers…

Thanks for any support,

D.A.

Memorandum RE: Galaxy

May 22, 2011

 The Gredogs and the Slentor were two simple species living in relative peace. It was very segregated, unfair, and smelly, but peace none the less. That is, of course, until one pamphlet changed their lives forever.

Yurg was a Slentor just trying to get on with his life. He had a job, a family, and an affinity for knitting. When he was nervous he smelled of a low tide. When he was happy he smelt like a three day old fish kill. Nobody could really tell the difference.

Today, he smelt like a low tide. The reason he was so discontent could be attributed to the depressingly low productivity level of his employees at the Hanta Lighting Factory. Though his employees were incompetent in the first place, they had been more so in recent days, especially one named Blort. Today he needed to find out the cause of those problems, or he would face the Council of Safety and Productivity.

This name in itself is a deception. There was nothing safe about a visit with the Council. Most meetings ended with termination. The only thing former employees could look forward to was not having to pay taxes any longer. In addition to the termination there was that nasty business with the Gaping Maw of Rakshar. All former employees were fed to it, as per their contract with the Council of Safety and Productivity.

Many other alien races have looked at this procedure as quite severe. They didn’t even see the point of the tax cut. If the employee was going to die soon after being fired they wouldn’t have to pay taxes anyway. While most agreed that the taxes were moot after termination, people still thought they deserved some sort of break, so the breaks were kept in place.

“Suzzie!”, Yurg bellowed from his desk. “Did I get any mail today?”

“Yes. I left it in your box.” she replied, with a smack of her gum.

Suzzie was Yurg’s secretary. She always smelled of an old hotel mattress, no matter what her mood was at the time.

“Then bring it to me. What do I pay you for anyway?” he growled.

He was never getting the respect he once had. Twenty cycles ago, he was a man with real power. Then the revolts came. The Gredog species had fought against his own and won. Now society had ground to a halt.

Before the revolts, Yurg and his fellow Slentor could use the Gredog creatures for slave labor (as well as a delicacy in restaurants). The Gredogs didn’t seem to mind the back breaking drudge that was their job but did want some vacation from time to time. Usually when one of them asked for a vacation day his Slentor supervisor simply ate him. Problem solved; permanent vacation.

But one fateful day, one Gredog underling asked for a vacation, and the Slentor gobbled him up. Then another approached, and the Slentor delightfully partook of the second. Then another approached. And another. This was repeated until the supervisor had filled his belly with his entire third shift. While his tastes buds were satisfied, the Gredog were not.

Soon, through some legal loop hole, the Gredogs petitioned for a change of slave labor to minimum wage labor and demanded three vacation days every cycle. The Slentor leaders disagreed to the terms and then promptly began a war with the Gredogs. For the Slentor, this was more of an all-you-can-eat style buffet than a fight to the death. For the Gredog, it was more like a fish fry, but they were the fish.

The war ended rather quickly when the Gredogs discovered they could manipulate their body chemistry to change how they tasted to the Slentor. Since the Slentor couldn’t live without their equivalent of a Twinkie in their diet, they decided to make a treaty.

Surprisingly, this treaty changed only a few things. The Slentor gave the Gredogs minimum wages and three vacation days every cycle. In return the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat them, but at substantially lower levels than before the war.

Scholars have debated why the Gredogs would allow the Slentor to continue to eat their species. Some maintain that it was the Gredogs taking notice of their communal relationship with the Slentor, thus making concessions for the greater good of both species. Others say it was because the Gredog leadership never consulted with a legal team prior to signing any papers. Most just believe that both species were too stupid to notice.

“Here’s your mail,” she slapped his mail on his desk. “You fat lazy oaf.” Suzzie’s claws clicked on the floor as she slipped out of the room. Yurg decided that reading the mail would only make him feel worse, so he decided to go downstairs and fix the problem at hand. Maybe there would be good news waiting for him when he got back.

***

Blort was a Gredog. He worked under Yurg in the flashlight department of the light manufacturing plant where they were both employed. He was, by and large, one of the stupidest creatures to have ever existed.

“You Fool!” bellowed the hulking beast of a shift supervisor. “How have the gods allowed you to live?”

“Um, me not know. What did me do?” squeaked Blort.

Yurg squared up to the little Gredog.“What did you do? I’ll show you!” The large sour smelling supervisor picked up his tiny employee by his tentacles and dragged him across the warehouse. When he stopped he made a point to drop the lesser creature on the floor in a heap.

“Look at this!” Yurg exploded.

The small mindless creature assessed what he was looking at. He saw shelves and boxes, and that seemed right, but something else seemed amiss. In utter confusion the imbecile looked up at his supervisor and uttered his thoughts in one word.

“Uhh…?”

Yurg was baffled at the pure lack of intelligence. He decided to change tactics. “Okay Blort, something here is wrong. What do you think that is?” His sentence ended sharply like a swing of an axe.

“Well,” began Blort, “Me see box on shelf, and that seem good. And me see they are in right place. That good too.”

“This is all true Blort, please continue.” Yurg couldn’t help himself and added the sarcasm.

“If me had to guess, Big Mr. Yurg,” ventured the underling, “Me would say you upset about boxes being so,” He said the first thing that came to mind. “Brown?”

“No, Blort. No. ” The Yurg rubbed his temples in disgust. “I would like you to tell me why there are fifty opened boxes of flashlights on the floor.”

“Oh,” Blort smiled. “Well, it funny story really. Me were looking for some tools in storage shed, but me not find nothing. Too dark. So me think to open up box and use one of those flashlights. But it not work. So me open up another box, but that no work.”

“Blort, there are no batteries in those flashlights. None of them will work until you get batteries.”

With a long delay, Blort’s only reply was “Oh.”

Yurg could feel his brain actually slow down. He needed to get away from this fool before he did something foolish, like kick Blort into some expensive machinery.

“Blort, you will work overtime to make up for the lost productivity. And consider yourself lucky, back when I first started working here, you would have been my lunch appointment.

Blort stared blankly back at Yurg. He clearly didn’t understand. Yurg tried again.

“If you do this again, I. Will. Eat. You.”

Blort understood this. His tenticles quivered as he made haste back to his workstation.

Yurg stomped back toward his office. He thought to himself that this would not really solve the problem. He would eventually have to come back down here and find a way for Blort to ‘accidentally’ slip and land on a laser bolt. He didn’t like getting his hands dirty, but it was much faster than asking for the pipsqueak to get transferred to another shift. When he got back to his desk he noticed a pamphlet setting on his desk.

“Suzzie, what in the name of Furtag’s Thorax is this?”

“It’s a pamphlet.” she yelled. She was busy painting her toe claws. She didn’t need to be bothered with difficult questions.

“Well, who’s it from?” he hollered back. He knew that he could just read it, but that would be too much work for him and not enough for her.

Suzzie finally looked up from her purple claws. “I don’t know, but everybody got one.”

“Everybody in the office?” he wonder aloud. “If it’s about who’s clogging the toilets on the second floor, I don’t want any part of this witch hu-.”

“No,” she cut him off. “Everybody on the planet.”

Yurg’s interest was peaked. Who would want to send a pamphlet to everybody on the planet? He decided to put off his post-yelling-at-idiots sulking session and read what laid before him. He began to read.

To :Mr. Yurg (or current resident)

From: Grand Kalothian Corporation

Subject: URGENT: Impending attack

Today you and your species will get the opportunity of a galactic cycle!

Us here at the Kalothian Institue for Advancement (a subdivision of the Grand Kalothian Corporation), would like to inform you of the large amount of fleets building up along our shared boarders. This is NOT a time to panic, but a time to rejoice. You have been personally tapped to become a member of the UNDI division of Grand Kalothian Corp!

All we ask of you and your brethren is to take part in our survey. That is all!

Still confused? We bet your tiny brains you are.

If you would like to know more please continue to the below Q & A section. Detailed instructions will follow after that.

What is the purpose of this survey?

Quite simply, the Kalothian species feeds on knowledge. We need it to grow. And If you haven’t noticed, lately, we’ve been doing a lot of “aggressive expansion” in your quadrant of the galaxy. We have been giving this survey to thousands of species scattered around you. We do this because we have learned everything about ourselves, but know very little about everybody else. With the information we obtain, we are able to continue to grow into one big happy family.

O.K. Sounds simple. But how do I take the survey?

We’ve made that easy on you. We have developed a neural device that will give you a constantly updated questionnaire that resides in your frontal lobe (or nearest organ). That’s right, no silly paper work! These questionnaire devices are called MINDRAM’s. This stands for Manually Inserted Neural Devices for Research and Murder.*

*Don’t worry about that murder stuff, our lawyers make us put that in there for legal purposes.

This sounds dangerous. Should I be concerned?

Of course not. Why would you be concerned? Our highly trained surgical technicians will be willing to help your implant procedure go off without a hitch. Of course there is a slight chance for some unavoidable side effects. But the pros outweigh the cons.

I can expect side effects from my device?

Yes, but this is true of anything that is directly inserted into your brain. You may experience dry mouth, hearing loss, blindness, fits of rage, blackouts, coma, and death*. But don’t let this scare you. Our success rate is at 20% for new clients. That is a stark improvement over our last model.

*likely just death

What does UNDI division stand for?

Undesirables Not Deemed Important. But once again, that’s all just legal mumbo-jumbo.

When can I expect my new MINDRAM?

Soon. Very soon.

Thank you for reading our simple Q&A section!

The Kalothian Institute for Advancement and it’s parent company would like to just inform you of the conditions of our corporate ‘merger’ that will be finalized within the next few days.

So, after reading the information above, we are sure you will not be against testing. But, if you have any more questions, please feel free to contact Doris at our publicity department. If you get no reply, please hang up and try again. If you still do not receive a reply, just hang up and spend some quality moments with your family. They could be your last to enjoy.

Also, our ships that carry our surgical technicians and ‘security teams’ will need a place to dock. And since we are such a big family, we may need to use some of your system’s local resources. The gracious hosts you are, we certain you won’t mind, but will need nearly ALL of your resources. So don’t be alarmed if you see any economic failure, civil unrest, or large explosions in your area. This is simple transition that we can all work through.

Learning everything is tough work! And we look forward to working with you!

Your soon-to-be Overlords,

The Grand Kalothian Corporation

Yurg sat in silence as he contemplated the pamphlet. He knew that everything was about to change forever. He thought of his family. His job. The mittens he had been knitting for the past week. All of that would soon be gone.

With a few minuets of contemplation he decided that he would do the one thing he wished he could do before he died. He would take his lunch early today.

Yurg got Suzzie to call down to the factory floor, and set up an appointment with his favorite employee. Within a few moments Blort crawled through his office door.

“You want to see me, Big Mr. Yurg?”

“Yes Blort, please, have a seat.” He gave Blort a toothy grin.

Yurg got up and called into his secretary’s office “Suzzie, hold my calls. I’m taking an early lunch.” He closed the door behind him.

“You having lunch now Mr. Yurg?” Blort asked nervously.

“Oh yes. I am.” his smile growing across his face. Yurg ambled across the room toward Blort’s seat.

“What you eating today?” Blort whimpered.

“Fresh Blort.” he shrugged.

While he was still one of the most simple minded creatures to have ever existed, Blort knew his doom soon awaited him. He tried one last tactic to advert his demise.

“Me want vacation now Mr. Yurg.” cried Blort.

“Granted.”

With a sudden lunge and a loud crunch, Blort was no more.

Now Yurg smelled of a three day old fish kill. Still, nobody would notice.

Memorandum RE: Galaxy © D.A. Bancroft

Ever wonder what would happen if you got punched in the face by a huuuuge dragon?

Well I have.

It would probably suck.

This isn’t due to the fact that dragons are notoriously awesome punchers (which in fact is not a fact). From my experiences, dragons have short front limbs, so the movement of a punch would be difficult for them to achieve. The damage would likely be attributed to the sheer size of the beast. Imagine taking a hit from something that is around 7 stories tall. The mass of it’s arm/leg would be measured in tonnes. That’s just unbearable. Even if you could do 50 push-ups, you still wouldn’t stand a chance…

Consider this as well. Dragons that fight have claws (I read that in last weeks New Yorker Magazine). NOW imagine getting punched by a clawed giant reptile. The scrapes and abrasions would be numerous. He could gouge you.

Plus, there is the danger of Salmonella. Reptiles are covered in that stuff (I went to college). Cuts + Salmonella = Infection City. You’re not bouncing back from that. At best it’s a hospital stay. At worst, well, you’re crushed into a squishy oblivion.

So…my story is coming along. Just the finishing touches are left really…oh, and I’ve made like 3 drafts…sooo…

Don’t worry. If you read the excerpt and didn’t really think it was story-ish enough for you, the whole thing is actually a story. Just a short one. With a pamphlet inside. There’s characters and plot and such.You just got to read the beginning of that pamphlet. It’s complicated I know, but that’s just what I felt like writing. Those things happen from time to time.

Why am I explaining myself?

I should be imagining about dragon punches some more…or better yetmummy dancing.

Shake it Rameses II!

D.A.